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A face shield should not be worn in place of a face covering at any point in the school day. A face shield should be used as additional personal protective equipment (PPE) in situations which require added protection from respiratory droplets.

For information on authorized medical devices for use related to COVID-19, please visit the Government of Canada’s website.



When considering use of a specific surgical/procedure mask, be sure to first verify whether the product has been approved by Health Canada and the mask is able to meet the standards set by Health Canada for surgical/procedure masks. 

Yes. Children living in the same household are permitted to share a seat on the bus, as are children in the same cohort. Please refer to  Windsor-Essex Student Transportation Services (WESTS), (also known as Buskids) for more information.


Yes. Since both bus drivers and riders are sharing an enclosed space with limited opportunities for adequate ventilation, the Health Unit recommends that all riders not eligible for an exemption and drivers wear a face mask or covering at all times while on board the bus. Please refer to  Windsor-Essex Student Transportation Services (WESTS), (also known as Buskids) for more information.

Students in Grades 1-12 are required to wear a non-medical mask while indoors at school, and outdoors when physical distancing is not possible. Students in JK/SK are encouraged, but not required, to wear a mask indoors. Staff are also required to wear masks indoors. Please see information about the use of face coverings on the provincial COVID-19 website.


Physical distancing is an important protection measure to prevent exposures to COVID-19. This includes providing as much space as possible between student’s desks or personal spaces, in seating areas such as cafeterias and staff rooms, and for bus waiting lines to ensure physical distancing in shared spaces and lines are in effect. Please refer to your school board’s back to school plans for how your school will be implementing physical distancing measures.

Only students from the same household or within the same cohorts are permitted to share a seat on the bus. Students are to maintain a 2 metre distance between riders from front to back, as well as side to side across the aisles. Please refer to  Windsor-Essex Student Transportation Services (WESTS), (also known as Buskids) for more information.




Schools will implement a more frequent cleaning and disinfecting routine according to Ministry and Public Health Ontario’s Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings. The recommendations include developing and reviewing a cleaning program, cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces, routine cleaning of outdoor surfaces, and cleaning shared objects between each use.




The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has provided consultation and specific guidance to the Windsor-Essex Student Transportation Services (WESTS), (also known as Buskids) to address student transportation requirements related to COVID-19.



A mask should be replaced with a clean mask if soiled, or if it no longer follows the Government of Canada requirements.

Yes. Physical distancing is mandatory while riding the bus, and while waiting to load the bus. It is recommended that parents and students wear a non-medical face mask at bus stops if physical distancing cannot be maintained. Please refer to  Windsor-Essex Student Transportation Services (WESTS), (also known as Buskids) for more information.

It is recommended that parents refrain from exiting their vehicle when dropping their children off at school. For parents escorting children to school on bike or walking, it is advised to limit the number of people accompanying each student to one person. Parents should immediately refrain from any social interaction during pick up and drop off between parents or between parents and teachers. Please refer to  Windsor-Essex Student Transportation Services (WESTS), (also known as Buskids) as well as your school board for more information.


Cohorting refers to a group of students and staff who must stay together throughout the school day, and remain isolated from other cohorts to limit the risk of contact. Cohorting decreases the number of people each child is exposed to by limiting the number of students and staff they are exposed to each day. This is especially critical for the younger age groups as cohorting limits the mixing of students and allows for social interaction to occur more safely.

If a student feels sick while on the bus, or before boarding the bus, they should advise the bus driver right away who will alert dispatch or a teacher for help in informing the students’ parents. Please refer to  Windsor-Essex Student Transportation Services (WESTS), (also known as Buskids) for more information.

  • All students and staff members must complete a self-screening questionnaire before arriving at school and must stay home if they are experiencing any symptoms. If a student or staff member becomes sick at school, the following will be applied:
    • Any objects used by the ill individual that cannot be cleaned and disinfected (i.e. books) should be sealed and stored away for a minimum of 7 days.
    • All objects and surfaces touched by the ill student and staff will be cleaned and disinfected immediately once sent home.
    • The staff member caring for the ill child waiting to be picked up must wear a surgical mask and eye protection, regardless of physical distancing.
    • The ill student will be monitored by a staff member until they are picked up from school. 
    •  Staff must be sent home immediately and be directed to use the COVID-19 School Self-Assessment Tool.
    • The ill student / staff member must wear a mask until they have left the premises.
    • They will be isolated from others immediately and put in a separate room.

For school specific protocols about this process please contact your school administration.

If a COVID-19 positive case is identified in a school, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit will provide further instructions on who else in the school may need testing and/or monitoring/isolation at that time. Staff/students who are being managed by public health (e.g. confirmed cases of COVID-19, household contacts of cases) should follow instructions provided by the Health Unit to determine when to return to school.

Please refer to the Ministry’s Operation Guidance Document on the management of COVID-19 in schools for more information.



Reasonable exceptions to the requirement to wear masks can be put in place by schools and school boards. Please speak to your school or school board for more information around medical exemptions.



School bus drivers, monitors, and aides will be provided with a screening checklist to self-screen for symptoms, and must not report to work if they have symptoms associated with COVID-19 or if they think they have been exposed to COVID-19.  Please refer to  Windsor-Essex Student Transportation Services (WESTS), (also known as Buskids) for more information.

Yes. There will be regular cleaning of the school bus interior, with special attention given to highly-touched surfaces, including bus seats, handrails, surfaces within the driver’s cockpit, and windows. Please refer to  Windsor-Essex Student Transportation Services (WESTS), (also known as Buskids) for more information.

Families must provide masks for their children. Schools will provide PPE, including masks, for all staff and students if they cannot access one themselves. Please check with your school administration for more information.



Students, teachers and school staff need to check for symptoms of illness every day before going to school. They can complete the online COVID-19 School Self-Assessment Tool each morning, or request a paper copy of the tool from your school. As part of the enhanced screening measures, schools will conduct daily on-site confirmation of self-screening for secondary students, staff and visitors before entering school or at the start of the schools day.

If a student or staff is experiencing any symptoms indicated on the screening checklist, then they must stay home and complete the COVID-19 School Self-Assessment Tool to determine if further care is required. Screening signage will be posted at all entry points of the school.